In life we have choices. The choice to do, the choice to not do. It’s really a simple formula but yet we all have that one experience we look back on and just shake our heads with disgust. Why would I do that to myself? That truthful moment when you reflect on life and you realize “I’m an absolute idiot”. While I’m sure I have many stories that fit that bill, my most recent mishap started in a hostel in Budapest with three Americans and one full bottle of homemade Eier-Likör.
But first we have to go back to the beginning. All the way back.
I first tried Eier-Likör when I had it in an ice cream concoction in Berlin with the Likör being drizzled healthily over a large scoop of Eier-Likör ice cream and topped with chocolate sprinkles. It was an ethereal, rich experience to say the least, something that definitely requires a run and a long gym workout after simply to justify the oh-so-tasty damage you just did to your body.
Upon my return to Berlin, as I was wondering through the endless wooden huts of the Rotes Rathaus Christmas Market in the center of town, I stumbled upon a stand selling fine homemade alcohol, from wine, to schnapps and different Liquors all from the Schwarzwald, the region that I lived near during my study abroad times. I approached the man at the stand, a tall, dark haired young German guy that was extremely excited about his product. He offered me a few samples of schnapps (Birne, Mirabelle and Kirschwasser), super tasty but not really what I was looking for. At this point having sampled at least three things and feigning interest, I assumed it was only good policy to buy a bottle. Seeing that I wasn’t sold on the schnapps he offered me his Eier-Likor infused with Rum.
To start off, Eier-Likör is a liquor made with egg yolks and infused with an alcohol, normally rum or schnapps. It’s creamy, thick and sweet, basically like a super thick eggnog that your family would make at home. It’s a great compliment to any dessert, it can be used in cakes, cookies and other baked goods, made into ice cream or simply enjoyed as an additive to hot chocolate or coffee. During the winter times in Germany, one can often find Eierpunsch on a menu, a dastardly sweet and hot cocktail of Eier-Likör, rum and milk topped with whipped cream.
The Eier-Likör that I sampled was sweet and creamy with a heavy hit of rum right on the front of my palette. After thinking about the awesome creations I could replicate at home with my purchase, I was sold and bought a bottle for 15 Euros. The story picks up almost 12 days later in Budapest, to the point where I have schlepped this bottle of homemade magic across the borders of five countries, with the full intention of enjoying the good stuff in the comfort of my own home.
During our last night in Budapest at the Party Hostel I had the revelation of all revelations. I COULDN’T bring my Eier-Likör home because I wasn’t going to be able to check a bag on my journey back to the US. I sat on my bed, in dismay of what to do with my purchase. Do I throw it away? Do I just drink a bit of it? I was at a tough junction, between a rock and a hard place. Leaning somewhere between, “if I waste this, it would truly be a waste of a good thing” and “if I drink this all, I am a disgusting human being”. Unfortunately for me, I chose the latter.
Josh, Joey and I decided that the only thing we could do is to put the bottle to good use and drink every bit of thick-Rum infused almost pudding like Likör. It was a tough go, with each of us drinking out of the bottle like animals, pounding down more and more, every sip cringe-worthy. We decided about a quarter of the way through that there was absolutely no way, so we used our half flat strawberry lemonade as mixer from the night before. The things we do when we are young, right? We mixed the two in my stolen Pilsner Urquell mug from Prague and passed around filled to the brim with the frothy, extremely questionable substance until every last drop was gone.
We looked at each other in pure disgust. Josh looked like he was going to puke, Joey already had the deer-in-the-headlights look, the lights are on but nobody is home thing going on. And there I sat simply shocked with what I had just done. As the thick stream of calories, fat and cholesterol creeped its through my body, thoroughly clogging my arteries, I hunched over like a sack of potatoes, in a daze of confusion and shame, pride and disgust. It took about another hour of recovery time, but we finally made the come back we were looking for, and went out for our last night in Budapest.
Sometimes in life we must overcome obstacles, no matter how challenging they are to take down. The moral of the story may be to just avoid obstacles in the first place.